Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/9/13
From the flash of neon orange on the shaft of his stick to the cachet buried in the four letters on the back of his jersey Coyotes forward Max Domi elicits attention wherever he goes. And that isn’t about to change any time soon. This is the first time under coach Dave Tippett’s regime that a first-round pick has been considered for the NHL roster in his draft year. That evaluation won’t be completed until the 18-year-old lines up next to the veterans in training camp but the buzz is a refreshing change for a team that doesn’t usually mull over offensive upstarts. “Obviously everyone wants to make the team right away” Domi said. “I’m pretty much prepared to say I’ll do whatever it takes to make the team.” Assessing Domi against NHL standards this early came at the expense of a playoff season. Twelfth where the Coyotes grabbed him is the highest they’ve drafted since they took defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson sixth overall in 2009. “That’s part of it but Max is a dynamic player” Tippett said. “The position he plays I think is probably one of the easiest positions to break in. …Winger would be the one area where a guy could come in and possibly have an impact. So he’s got a couple of those things going for him.” The alternative for Domi is another season with the London Knights. A return to junior hockey could also include a spot on Team Canada in the World Junior Championship. “You can never never ever ever make a mistake by sending a player back to junior” General Manager Don Maloney said. “You often make mistakes by keeping people here so young. With that being said he has a skill set that we’re looking for and we have positions available for that.” Whenever the time comes for Domi to become an NHL regular the microscope on his play is only going to grow. All this initial hype guarantees it. But the Coyotes aren’t worried about Domi’s ability to withstand that pressure. “What I think you have to remember is a player like that that gets attention like that it’s not the first time it’s happened for him” Tippett said. Domi grew up in Toronto where his dad Tie donned the Maple Leafs sweater for parts of 12 seasons as a fan favorite. Two hours away in London Domi’s the current leading scorer for the reigning Ontario Hockey league champs.
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